Mediation For The Masses

Meditation: Health And Science



Here Are The Ways You Can Meditate Before Bed

Busy people, most notably students, employees, and businessmen, are often deprived of time. Even a short activity outside of work or school during the weekday is impossible.

Meditation is possibly one of the most effective ways to quickly reduce body tension and mental stress. However, this does not mean that one should enroll in formal meditation classes to avail of its benefits.

Anyone can do this in the comfort of their homes. Sometimes, the best time to do it is right before you sleep.

Here are some ways you can meditate even on your bed right before your usual sleeping hours.

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Turn On The Music And Reflect

Look for relaxing instrumentals that you can play while you do this quick meditation. All you need to have are a phone, speakers, and a dimmed room.

Check the room’s temperature and start playing the music softly. Find a suitable spot to do the Indian pose, close your eyes, and steady your breathing. You can ask yourselves questions to ponder on. You can also talk to yourself. Remember: this is about getting to know your inner self.

This activity can only take 5 minutes of your time. First-timers can even feel their intense emotions lower down a bit after the exercise. Don’t worry because the benefits of meditation will compound as you go on.

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Listen To Guided Meditation

If you are too tired to think about the steps of meditation consciously, you can always resort to a guided one from the Internet. Video-hosting sites (such as YouTube) offer free audio guides for you to follow.

Looking for audio meditation is easy because you will feel that an expert is telling you what to do and what to think of. Most of these instructional audios also play soothing background music and soft sound effects. You can find guided meditation audio with background sound effects of sea waves, the rustling of the leaves, or even the sound of falling rain.

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Read Instructional Materials Provided On The Internet

The Web is full of instructional materials that professionals themselves crafted for the benefit of the users. You can peruse these step-by-step resources if you want to make sure that the meditation you are about to do is right for you.

Note that meditation, regardless of how long you are doing it, usually brings benefits which can be equated to a full-blown vacation getaway if correctly done over time. Your goal is to figure out the part of the body where you are most tense. Then communicate with your mind, identify your feelings, and let go of the intense emotions. Try visualizing a large box where you can put all your feelings. It might be symbolic, but it can be a useful relaxation hack.

Formal meditation practices are not always possible for people whose schedule is often jam-packed. Meditation is also definitely not a fancy thing that only the privileged people can avail of. When you have practiced a lot of times, meditation can be a natural cure for stress and anxiety. Starting tonight, before bedtime, is an excellent beginning.

Meditation and Counseling Made Effortless Online

 

There are times that we feel all alone as if the world has turned its back on us, times that we could no longer see the path of success and development. Having these feelings is genuinely saddening that we tend to become depressed. An outpouring of negative thoughts continues to take in. Our ability to think with reasoning becomes paralyzed, our mind becomes preoccupied with unwanted and unimportant things that are causing anxiety to occur and lose our focus at the end. This is how our mind becomes distressed when there are some issues in life that we did not see coming thus making us blinded by negative thoughts. Dealing with this kind of emotional struggle is genuinely a difficult one. Our focus becomes distracted during this trying time; hence, it is difficult for us to identify what should come first because of so many things that have filled our mind.

 

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8 Types Of Yoga: Which Is The One For You?

Yoga has evolved since it began in ancient times. In this modern-day, there are more than 20 forms of yoga invented for everyone. But here are the eight basic types of yoga to make it easier for you to determine which is the one for you.

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Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is known as a basic introduction to yoga. It features slow and gentle poses focused on breathing and relaxation. If you are a beginner looking where to start or you just prefer a more relaxed yoga session, this is perfect for you. It is not the most strenuous of yoga forms, but it will leave you with a relaxed body and a clear mind.

Vinyasa Yoga       

Vinyasa yoga comprises of connected movements and poses, followed by synchronized breathing. It is meant to be fluid and energetic. Upbeat music will be played to accompany this dance-like yoga. You will transition from one pose to another and learn how to link your breathing with movement. If you want a dynamic form of yoga, this is the one for you.

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Ashtanga Yoga

Similar to Vinyasa, this type of yoga also encourages you to synchronize breathing with movement. However, Ashtanga yoga has a more traditional approach. Classes are usually silent. Moreover, the sequence of the poses, from start to end, is always the same. Ashtanga yoga is for those who are familiar with fast-paced, vigorous workouts.

Bikram Yoga

A guarantee of this type of yoga is you will sweat a lot. Bikram yoga classes are in artificially heated rooms, where the temperature can go up from 95 to 108°F. This temperature can aid you in doing flexible poses. It also encourages you to sweat, which expels toxins from your body. If you are up for a good workout that can detoxify your body and mind, Bikram yoga might be fit for you.

 

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar yoga is all about the details. The focus of this yoga type is on precision, alignment, and breathing technique. Yoga props will also be involved. These props serve to improve posture and reduce the risk of injury.

Classes are usually held at a slow pace, allowing the students to learn the poses at their own pace. Iyengar yoga is suitable for people with an injury, chronic condition, or under rehabilitation.

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Kundalini Yoga

Known as one of the oldest forms of yoga, Kundalini is for your inner energy. Movement and breathing are linked together with meditation and chanting. This form of yoga is designed to tap into your seven chakras. It starts from the base of your spine to the rest of your body.  It also awakens your creative energy. For those seeking tranquility within the body and mind, Kundalini yoga is for you.

Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti is a combination of Vinyasa-style movements and Sanskrit teachings. The theme of the classes changes every week. After the lessons, you will leave with new knowledge about yoga. If you are into physical fitness, meditation, and learning, this is the type of yoga for you.

Restorative Yoga

This type of yoga is the best recommendation for those who want to relax amid their busy lives. Also known as Yin yoga, it is slow-paced and meditative. It is done with props to help in holding the poses. Restorative yoga can help you in letting go of stress after a long day.

Starting on yoga might be confusing at first. But remember that it’s best to go back to the basics and pick the routine that suits your lifestyle.

Keeping the Yin and the Yang in Marriage

Marriage is a unification of two different people committed to becoming one; similar to the Yin and the Yang, two different energy combined creating harmony within. There comes a time that the peace will be disrupted by unforeseeable circumstances, and this is the time that the Yin and the Yang must maintain their balance to keep the harmony. (more…)

Here’s How Laughter Yoga Can Improve Your Immune System

When we hear the word “yoga,” we immediately think of a room filled with silence and serenity. Above all, we expect calmness, deep breaths, and intense meditation.

What if we told you there is an alternative to the typical yoga that involves laughing? Yes, laughter yoga exists, and it provides several mental and physical benefits too!

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What Is Laughter Yoga

We all know how to laugh, and laughter is the best medicine. Well, laughter yoga is what you imagine it to be. It’s a room filled with people chuckling their hearts out.

Compared to other meditation styles, laughter yoga is a relatively new idea that focuses on the mind and body stimulation. It uses different laughter exercises coupled with some breathing techniques. With this combination, laughter yoga slowly teaches the body how to laugh even without any humor involved. Because of this technique, laughter yoga can benefit your immune system as well. How? Read on.

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The Connection Between Laughter And Our Immune System

Our immune system relies on a highly efficient cleaning system within our body, called the lymphatic system. It is an intricate network made up of thin vessels. It is responsible for collecting waste materials our body contains. Then, it gets rid of the waste products through the spaces between cells. However, the process is much more complicated than this.

Now, what does laughter have to do with this system?

The lymphatic system doesn’t require any pumps to transport fluids, unlike our circulatory system. It always moves toward our hearts using inertia. However, we can also move it manually, and this is where laughter comes in.

Research shows that laughing can mimic the ideal diaphragmatic breathing. It makes a negative pressure intense enough to speed up the flow of lymphatic fluid by about 15 times the average flow rate. A faster flow of lymphatic fluid results in an increased number of lymphocytes. Consequently, increased lymphocytes in our blood system lead to better immunity for any disease.

Source: health.harvard.edu

Stimulation of the lymphatic fluid happens through any muscular movement. But laughter still proves to be one of the best ways to achieve this. Plus, it also offers the least pain and the most enjoyment.

But aside from improving our immune system, laughter yoga can even help with our overall wellness. Laughing can engage our parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the “happy hormones” we feel when we laugh. Once it is released, our stress level also goes down. A decrease in stress levels means that our body can resist bacterial infections better. With that also comes increased energy levels and an overall improved emotional state.

People who have religiously committed to laughter yoga find that their resistance to colds and viruses has significantly increased. Those who are previously prone to asthma have found that laughter yoga has helped improve their breathing capacity. You will enjoy the benefits of engaging in other physical activities without worrying about the shortness of breath or wheezing.

Conclusion

Laughter yoga has several benefits both to our mental and physical health. The lowered stress level it gives us is beneficial in strengthening our body’s defense mechanism against many diseases.

Aside from its health benefits, laughter yoga gives us a new perspective on meditation. It breaks the usual notion that meditation only involves silence and calmness. Through laughing, we go beyond the boundaries of traditional meditation, which may benefit more people in the long run.

Unusual Ways People Practice Meditation

When somebody talks about meditation, we often picture someone on a pillow, with their legs crossed and eyes closed. Because of this favored interpretation, a lot of individuals say they don’t have time to meditate. For some, they’re not sure of what they should be thinking. Others find it a real challenge to sit still.

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Thankfully, this practice isn’t “one size fits all.” There are other techniques and methods for practicing mindfulness. Here are some alternatives that may align better with your preferences.

Laughter Meditation

One familiar image of the Buddha is of him laughing. So why not follow his example?

Mindful laughter can provide you with a feeling of lightness against all the issues we deal with every day. It elevates our mood by physically releasing happy hormones that help lower our stress levels.

Moreover, practicing laughter meditation with other people forms a connection or bond between you. Your shared experience of joy is a moment away from the rest of the world. Though you may feel embarrassed at first, letting go of inhibitions will help you get the most out of it.

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Movement And Dance

There’s no better alternative to traditional meditation than something that involves more movement itself. Dancing is one way to achieve physical wellness as well as mindfulness. Focusing on your actions and the music pulls you away from the troubles of the world. Many classes will have you leave your ego behind and just let your body move as it wants. Dancing may include jumping and flailing your limbs around. The idea is not to focus too much on making the right steps but to just let go.

For those who may want something less intense, there’s also hand movement meditation. It may be tempting to want to go all-out-superhero like Doctor Strange. However, this form of therapy would focus on slowly moving your hands.

Daily Life Practice

Despite their mindfulness, the practitioners of Zen Buddhism recognize that we all have daily tasks and activities to which to attend. That is why many follow the concept of samu. This concept refers to physical work that they do while still focusing on their thoughts.

One quick way to practice this is to slow down your pace. Cleaning the house, cooking your dinner, and taking a shower can become your way of meditating. Find mindfulness in the most mundane activities.

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Koan

If you’re yearning for something more advanced, this Buddhist practice may be for you. Zen masters make use of the koan, a riddle, story, or statement that doesn’t have a direct answer. Unlike the mind-benders that we’re used to, these types are more like a philosophical question.

Arriving at an answer is not the point of the koan. It’s more about realizing that we sometimes cannot find a satisfying solution or end to something. Accepting such a reality is what helps us become more at peace.

When it comes to meditation, the experience doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. Though some people find that some quiet time works best for them, others will discover mindfulness through other forms. We can meditate through laughter, dance, philosophical riddles, and through activities that we already partake in daily.

Finding the right one for you can bring each of us closer to the peace we all seek.

Meditation Benefits For Students

College students are prone to get stressed, overworked, or even burned out because of the many responsibilities they have to balance. We may all have 24 hours in a day, but it can still be quite exhausting to juggle all tasks at once without compromising our other roles as a person. With this, students need to be knowledgeable about how they can take a step back from everything to reflect, ponder, and meditate.

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Why Meditate?

Cardiologists have proven that meditation can work wonders, especially for human health. Dropping everything to focus and de-stress is something that most teenagers lack time for.

Meditation has been one of the recommended activities by doctors from different fields. It helps in many medical concerns, such as chronic pain, anxiety, and overall heart health. In addition to this, it also helps decrease metabolism, improves brain waves and neurological activities, and hones one’s learning and conscious perception.

Meditation is very accessible, and you can do it at your own time for free. Unlike other medical services, you have to pay a lot for such resources. However, through meditation, you can achieve balance and improve your quality of life without spending a dime or two.

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With stress taking over college student’s lives, it can be tricky to stop everything and de-stress through meditation. Although this is a valid thought, the effects of meditation can have a good impact on your well-being. Not only will you be more focused, but you will also feel more energized, elated, happy, and content. With these feelings present in your system, you will be able to perform and execute your daily tasks better.

Various Effects On A Student’s Life

Regularly practicing meditation can improve a student’s lifestyle, especially in a hectic environment such as college. By placing yourself in a more relaxed condition and lifestyle, things may turn out well for you and your academics. Here are some of its benefits.

Better Sleep Cycles

College can be massively draining for a lot of students, and meditation can help a lot with that problem. Instead of sleeping stressed or falling asleep while doing homework, it is recommended to take some time off and meditate when you start and end the day. Through meditation, you can improve your sleep cycles and calm your body in preparation for bedtime. In the morning, you will feel more rested, less groggy, and more active.

Improved Overall Health

The effects of meditation go beyond just physical health. Meditation can help improve certain aspects of the human body, such as mental health, emotional health, and psychological health. Coupled with proper exercise and diet, this can reduce stress and anxiety, alongside other negative emotions, making the body feel more at peace.

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Efficiency In Academic Performance

Many scientific studies have proven that there is a correlation between students who take time off to have some quiet time and the effect on academic performance. It has shown that having this as a daily activity teaches the student how to handle stress better, resulting in a more efficient way of studying and improved academic excellence.

With many stressors present today, taking some time off and meditating will help college students. It can result in many positive effects on the mind and the body, as well as one’s grades. Hopefully, through this quiet time, you will see your lifestyle as a college student enhance greatly.

How Meditation Can Save You From School Stress

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For most students, going to school is a grueling task. Waking up every morning, doing their assignments, and studying for their exams will, at some point, only bring upon stress. Students nowadays are not only affected by external pressures but they also often deal with emotional stressors. Failing to cope with such stressors only worsens the student’s experience at school. That poor experience may only lead to them giving up at some point.

An excellent solution to this problem is the incorporation of new habits or routines. One of the reasons most students face this problem is due to the lack of hobbies or company. An example of a new hobby they may try out is meditation.

The Benefits Of Meditation

Meditation is a practice that aims to transform an individual’s mind. Through various techniques, an individual can train his or her brain to become more aware and have a healthy sense of perspective. Through this exercise, they may achieve a mentally clear and stable mind. Meditation also comes with several benefits. Listed below are some of its benefits for students.

Physical Benefits

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  1. Your immune system improves, making you less vulnerable to diseases.
  2. Your energy level increases, thus making you more capable of doing different kinds of tasks.
  3. You decrease your chances of developing high blood pressure.
  4. You increase the production of serotonin in your body, thus making you happier and more relaxed.

Mental Benefits

  1. You gain emotional and mental stability.
  2. Your creativity increases and more ideas flow through your mind.
  3. You begin to think less of your problems and focus more on the essential things in your life.
  4. You gain clarity and peace of mind, which may lead to happiness.

Not only does meditation benefit you physically and emotionally, but it also improves your personality. Through meditation, you may gain a better understanding of yourself.

How To Incorporate Meditation Into Your Life

Next, you may be wondering how to incorporate meditation into your daily routine. As a student, the most effective time to do it would be as soon as you wake up or before going to bed.

For beginners, here is a step-by-step procedure you can follow when meditating at home.

  1. Find yourself a comfortable spot. Take a seat and prepare to begin.
  2. You then need to set a time limit for the session. It may be 5 to 10 minutes long.
  3. Fix your posture and find a stable position you can maintain during the whole session.
  4. Watch your breathing. Don’t inhale and exhale too fast. Pace each breath equally.
  5. Allow your mind to wander through all your thoughts and ideas. Let them flow, but don’t let them bother you.
  6. Practice each step and set this as a daily routine.

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Meditating will only take up a little of your time, and the benefits you receive from it are worth the effort. Why not give it a shot and get into this new hobby now? Break free from the stress of school and discover your full potential.

Why Students Should Try Meditation

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It feels like students from primary school to college can barely find time to relax and breathe fresh air. Most students find themselves stressed out with school work, exams, parties, and other aspects in their vigorous campus life. The intense lifestyle in school might cause anxiety, stress, and sleep deprivation to these individuals. Thus, universities and colleges are now turning to meditation to improve the well-being of their students.

If you as an individual or your school still is not practicing meditation, here are various reasons why you should.

It Improves Focus

A lot of people envy a student who tops the class without having to put too much effort into studying. But unlike them, you might have difficulty achieving these kinds of results. Experts say that those who are excelling in school have vast capabilities of quickly absorbing the lessons taught in class or the concepts they read in their books.

With meditation, you will also be able to improve your focus. Studies have proven those who engage in this exercise are more focused on their tasks as compared to those who do not meditate. Once you have fully mastered the art, it would be easier for you to focus, which will eventually translate to better academic performance.

It Lowers Stress Levels

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There are stress levels which are healthy for you since it prompts you into action and guides you toward achieving your goals. However, too much stress can also be unhealthy for you. Students have to deal with the combination of tests, co-curricular activities, admission exams, social pressures, and love problems. Once they fail to handle the pressure from everything, they will collapse emotionally.

Mindfulness meditation improves your capability to cope up with stress. Engaging with this activity will enable you to realign your mind and recharge your body. It will also increase the levels of peace and serenity inside you.

It Drives Creativity And Innovation

The advantages of meditation do not only address stress and academic performance. Instead, it goes beyond these usual school necessities. This exercise drives creativity and innovation due to its power to accelerate the performance of the brain. It will help you navigate endless possibilities on whatever idea you have. Also, it pushes you to be more inquisitive, which will bring your mind to a world of innovation.

It Provides Better Sleep

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Various research shows that meditation is an effective treatment for insomnia. Since students find their minds alert all the time, thinking about their term papers or tests, they often find it difficult to sleep. You can meditate at least 30 minutes before sleeping so that you can train your mind and body to disconnect from the hustle of your academic life.

Studies have proven that meditation is a better and more effective remedy to sleeplessness than any other medication.

Mindfulness meditation provides endless benefits to people, especially to students. Once you master meditation, you will fully enhance and grow both your mental and emotional health and experience the best student lifestyle possible.